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Stingers still have help on the way

WILLMAR - The Stingers' season is well underway and off to a strong start, but there are still some reinforcements that have yet to arrive in Willmar.

The Willmar Stingers' Quincy McAfee connects connects on a double during Friday's game against Eau Claire at Bill Taunton Stadium. Curt Hogg / Tribune
The Willmar Stingers' Quincy McAfee connects connects on a double during Friday's game against Eau Claire at Bill Taunton Stadium. Curt Hogg / Tribune
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WILLMAR - The Stingers' season is well underway and off to a strong start, but there are still some reinforcements that have yet to arrive in Willmar.

Five rostered Stingers players are still playing with their college teams in the NCAA Division I Tournament, which began play this weekend around the country.

Luke Becker (Kentucky), Calvin Coker (Auburn), Josh Bissonette (Baylor), Danny Rodriguez (Bethune-Cookman) and Nate Sterijevski (Bethune-Cookman are the five future Stingers all vying to reach the College World Series.

Of those four teams in the NCAA Tournament that feature Stingers, Auburn and Kentucky won their opening round games, while Bethune-Cookman and Baylor fell to the losers' bracket.

It could be a while yet until Becker and Coker make the trip to Willmar, by the looks of things. Kentucky received the top seed in its regional and Auburn, though a No. 3 seed, will avoid top-seed Florida State in its next game after Tennessee Tech pulled off the upset.

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Becker went 2-for-5 with a run and RBI in Kentucky's 6-4 win over Ohio, but Coker did not pitch in Auburn's 7-4 triumph over Central Florida.

Not only are the Stingers without a handful of players in those five members, but they are also without some of their potentially top players.

Perhaps there is no better example of that than Becker, who posted a .946 OPS, hit seven homers and batted in the middle of the lineup for the Wildcats-one of the nation's top offensive teams.

Even with a 5-2 loss on Friday night, the Stingers haven't been all too shabby in the meantime, however.

Willmar opened the season with three consecutive wins, gaining a plus-16 run differential in those contests. And more help will soon be on the way.

Related Topics: BASEBALLWILLMAR STINGERS
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